Despite having an injured back, Montgomery (Ala.) Trinity junior Walker Van Hooser decided to compete in the state track and field meet last year.
It was a decision he probably regrets.
Seeded No. 1 in the 100 meters, he fought through the pain to place fourth in the prelims, which qualified him for the finals the next day. But when the sun rose the following morning, Van Hooser had a serious problem.
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"I couldn't walk," he recalled. "I couldn't compete in the finals."
Van Hooser had a nerve injury in his back and hip. The injury caused him to miss spring football practice in 2010.
"It really set me back," Van Hooser said. "I missed a few games toward the end of the season. It kind of came up again, and I had to get it injected. But ever since then, it has been 100 percent."
At the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio last month, Van Hooser ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.37 seconds.
"Praise the lord, I'm totally healthy," he said.
Last July, Van Hooser, a quarterback/receiver, committed to Tulane. Seven months later, he remains firm with that pledge even though he continues to hear from other programs, most notably Alabama and Auburn. The Tide invited him to this weekend's junior day, but he already had plans. Auburn also wants him to stop by.
Neither has yet to offer.
Additionally, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Stanford are recruiting him.
"[Auburn offensive coordinator] Gus Malzahn said they'll be sending me an invite to come to junior days," Van Hooser said. "Auburn and Alabama are probably showing me the most interest."
Tulane is recruiting Van Hooser as a quarterback, which is something he likes. And it certainly doesn't hurt that his brother (Wilson) is a receiver there.
"They were the first to offer," Van Hooser said. "And they offered me at quarterback. They said once I get down there, I'll have a shot at quarterback. This past season, I played receiver. So they might also play me at receiver, safety or corner."
For now, Van Hooser is all Green Wave.
But should Auburn offer, he would have something to think about.
"I've grown up an Auburn fan all my life," he said. "My dad went there, my older brother goes there and my grandfather is in the motorhome club and has had season tickets for like 30 years. I grew up a huge Auburn fan. But I don't know what I'd do. I love Tulane. I'd get to play two years with my brother and I'd also get to run track down there. Right now, I think that's where God wants me. But I have another whole year, and anything can happen."